Change in land cover and use in critical areas of forest fires in the state of Morelos, Mexico

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Miriam Hernández Hernández, Iris Juan Baeza , Roberto Marquez Hutzil , Cristina Martínez-Garza

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Forest fires are one of the main factors of degradation of ecosystems. The areas with the highest incidence of fires are called critical areas; their identification is useful to delimitate zones for management, restoration and conservation actions. Here, we evaluate the relationship of the incidence of fires with the change in land cover and use in critical areas of forest fires to plan restoration actions. Morelos state is located in central Mexico where forest fires occur due to natural and anthropogenic causes. To determine the types of vegetation affected and the causes related to these fires, a 10-year period was analyzed using national fire inventories prepared by the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) and GIS tools. Two types of vegetation were identified as affected by the fires: pine forests and dry forest, which are the ecosystems with the largest area in the state. These two types of vegetation occur mainly in two municipalities Huitzilac and Tepoztlan where critical fire areas are mostly concentrated. In Huitzilac the critical areas are in the pine forests with a total of 1.9 ha. In the municipality of Tepoztlán the critical areas correspond to dry forest with a total area of 7.1 ha; there, forest fires have been recurrent for up to 4 consecutive years. The main causes of fires have been the change in land use due to mining activities and agricultural.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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